Jailed journalists go on hunger strike in Morocco

Jailed Moroccan journalist, Omar Radi. (Photo: Reuters)
Jailed Moroccan journalists Omar Radi and Soulaimane Raissouni have gone on hunger strike to demand their provisional release, having been held several months awaiting a verdict, a lawyer said Monday.اضافة اعلان

The judiciary has repeatedly turned down such appeals from Radi, 34, who has been held for eight months, and Raissouni, 48, detained 10 months ago in a separate case.

Lawyer Miloud Kandil told a news conference in the city of Casablanca that Raissouni started his hunger strike last Thursday, followed a day later by Radi.

Radi was placed in pre-trial detention in July charged with receiving foreign funds for the purpose of harming “state security”, the justice ministry said at the time.

A probe into Radi’s purported receipt of foreign funds began in late June, the day after an Amnesty International report was released alleging software developed by Israeli security firm NSO Group had been used to add spyware onto the journalist’s mobile phone.

Radi is also accused separately of rape.

He has insisted on his innocence in court and said his foreign dealings were “purely professional and connected to his work as a journalist”, according to Kandil.

Raissouni, chief editor of Moroccan independent daily Akhbar Al Yaoum, has been detained since late May.

His lawyer said in July that the 48-year-old was under investigation on charges of “indecent assault” against another man.

Raissouni’s supporters allege the case is part of a campaign of defamation targeting journalists and rights activists critical of Moroccan authorities